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10th: Kariya nets hat trick as Preds close out regular season with a win vs. Detroit

by Kevin Wilson / Nashville Predators
April 18, 2006

After trailing 1-0, the Nashville Predators scored six unanswered goals – including a hat trick by Paul Kariya – to run away with a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the Sommet Center. The victory ended the Preds 2005-06 regular season schedule on a six-game winning streak and with their best record to date at 49-25-8.

Kariya added an assist to create a four-point game and bring his season point total to 85 in 82 games – a Predators franchise record. Kariya, along with linemates Martin Erat and David Legwand accounted for five goals and 10 points on the night to lead Nashville to a season-series split with Detroit, its best finish against the Wings.

"We were skating really well," Kariya said of his line. "Legwand was flying out there and really created a lot of room for Marty and I. When you get those types of opportunities, it's fun to play hockey like that."

Chris Mason, who backstopped all six victories to close out the year, was once again stellar in net for the Preds, stopping 30 shots to give him a .955 save percentage and a miniscule 1.16 goals-against average in that span.

It was a really important game for us to keep our momentum going into the playoffs," Mason said. "Especially against Detroit, who we have a good rivalry with – they had won 12 straight road games which is an NHL record. That says a lot for our guys.”

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